Over half a million under-18s are at risk of being priced out of sport
Sported’s Keep The Doors Open campaign is raising awareness of the threat which the cost-of-living crisis poses to community sports organisations – and the young people they support.
With unprecedented food price increases, soaring energy bills and rising household bills, the cost-of-living crisis is affecting us all. Sported has revealed how it may impact the young people across the country who rely on clubs and community groups for their physical and mental wellbeing. Sported’s recent research shows that over half a million under-18s are at risk of being priced out of these clubs – and that the clubs and community groups are fearing for their own survival. ukactive, who represent leisure operators, recently raised concerns with Government about the threat to the nation’s health and wellbeing as gyms, pools and leisure facilities report facing an energy bill hike of up to 150%.
Decreasing access to the benefits of sport and physical activity will only compound the Covid-19 pandemic’s devastating impact on young people’s mental and physical health.
The research shows that among the community groups Sported represents:
- 94% are fearful about the impact of cost of living increases on their young people
- 67% expect the crisis will force kids out of participating in activities over the next six months
- 72% have already been forced into changes to offset the impact of Cost of Living increases
- Almost 50% reported a drop in financial support for their vital work in the community
Mark Reynolds who founded the RABC, a boxing club based in Huddersfield, says:
“I have been in the local community for over 25 years and I have never seen it as bad as it is now. We are finding it hard to meet the ever-increasing bills there have already been, and will be facing moving forward. We are worried about our future and that of our members too. We get so many troubled families that need our support in so many ways and we’re finding it more difficult to meet their needs. We know that when a young person can’t attend their weekly session this impacts on their health, both physically and mentally. Young people need routine and this is getting broken with the crisis.”
Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive said:
“The Government should be extremely concerned about both the health and economic impact of the energy crisis on fitness and leisure operators. Our members will want to avoid passing on these cost pressures to their customers, especially given the rise in the cost of living, but this might become unavoidable. These facilities are crucial to supporting the delivery of Government’s ambitions around ‘levelling up’ which contain ambitious targets for both health life expectancy and wellbeing. They support tens of millions of people to be active each week, so their protection should be a priority.”
At Coach Core we’ve worked with nearly 200 different sport and physical activity organisations across the country and – speaking to them every week – we know how tough this nearly 3-year period has been for them, their staff (including our apprentices) and the people they support to be active.
There are a number of ways you can help, including a donation to Coach Core which will help a young person, their employer and their community thrive and support others during this period.